Staff

Derri Smith

Derri Smith

Founder and CEO

Derri supervises the senior management team, communicates all external messaging on behalf of the organization, is responsible for growth and development, drives the mission, serves on the board and as board/staff liaison and advocates for the issue and the organization.

In 2012, Derri Smith moved End Slavery Tennessee, an organization she founded in 2008, out from under a parent organization to become an independent 501c3.

Previously she served as Director of End Slavery Ministries with International Teams, with global responsibility for building teams and placing workers in the worldwide fight against slavery. But her heart and passion remained for the travesty of this crime, in epidemic proportions yet hidden in plain sight, right here in her own community.

Her career leading up to these roles includes teaching in public schools, heading an inner-city work based out of Carter-Lawrence School in Nashville, and working overseas, serving refugees and those recovering from decades of repressive government in Eastern Europe. For decades she's addressed the issue of child abuse in the church, informally counseling women recovering from such abuse.

Derri is the recipient of many awards including:

  • 2011 regional Soroptimist Ruby Award for Women Helping Women

  • 2012 Trafficking in America Service award.

  • 2014 Salute to Excellence Healing Trust Access to Care award

  • 2015 Salute to Excellence Diverse Generations

  • 2016 Frist Team Building award (the Salute to Excellence Awards were on behalf of the agency.)

  • 2016 Human Rights Outstanding Service Award from the Tennessee Human Rights Commission

  • 2018 named a Woman of Influence by the Nashville Business Journal

  • 2018 Most Admired CEOs by Nashville Business Journal

Derri sits on the Governor appointed Tennessee Human Trafficking Advisory Council, the Federal Human Trafficking Task Force and the Department of Health and Human Services Region 4 Working Group. Her many speaking venues include the U.S. Capitol and TEDx Nashville. , She now devotes her knowledge, experience and passion to promote healing of human trafficking survivors and strategically confront slavery in our state.

In her free time, Derri loves to spend time with Bill, her husband of 45 years, their rescue Golden Retriever mix, Diggity Dog and a good book. Derri and Bill have two adult daughters.  

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Cassie Hunt

operations Manager

Cassie’s main responsibilities lie in human resources and input in budgetary planning as well as gaps in day to day operations.

Cassie received her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Community Development from Trevecca Nazarene University and received her Master's degree of Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University.

Through her time spent as a mentor in college and leading a high school girls small group at her church, Cassie found her passion to help others and saw the importance of investing in peoples’ lives and building community. She previously worked at Rest Stop Ministries where she learned about the issue of human trafficking and where her passions to help those affected by this horrific issue were sparked.  Cassie has a desire to see positive change happening in her community and is excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this change first hand. 

In her spare time, Cassie enjoys spenging time with her friends and family, eating at all the new restaurants in town, traveling, and reading. 

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Lorraine McGuire

Chief Operating Officer

Lorraine supervises staff and provides development strategy including budget creation.

Experiencing poverty at a young age gave Lorraine a strong sense of justice issues early in life and drove her to work hard as a waitress to earn a degree in psychology from BIOLA university.

Though she was recruited into corporate sales right out of college, Lorraine knew she wanted to do more to make a difference in our hurting world. In 2008, she became the Missions Pastor at Springcreek Church in Garland, Texas. There, she directed all the local and global outreach, leading people in her church to live to their fullest potential in serving the vulnerable with time and resources. Her position allowed her to learn more about so many issues of injustice, including domestic sex trafficking.

When she moved back to California in 2012, she decided to take her sales, ministry and nonprofit experience and pursue a job with World Vision as a Director of Strategic Church Partnership. She worked with churches all over the Southwestern US to come up with strategic fundraising plans.

In the summer of 2016 Lorraine and her dog Romo left her tiny beach cottage in Huntington Beach, CA to marry a Tennessean. She, her amazing husband Jeffrey, 4 step kids and their 2 dogs live in Mt. Juliet. She loves (and misses) the beach, running, meditating, motorcycle rides with her husband, and ridiculous animal videos.

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EMILY WILLMORE

COMMUNITY COORDINATOR

Emily is the office manager and helps coordinate volunteer and donor appreciation efforts.

Emily grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and moved to Nashville in 2010 to study songwriting at Belmont University. After graduating, she moved back to the Pittsburgh area to serve as a worship leader for Charter Oak Church. While at Charter Oak, Emily learned about the issue of human trafficking and decided she cared more about helping trafficked girls than pursuing music.

So in April of 2017, Emily moved back to Nashville with her new husband Chad and got involved with End Slavery TN. After almost a year of volunteering, she was offered the position of Community Coordinator. Emily still sings and writes songs on the side, and can be found on Apple Music and Spotify under her maiden name, Emily Summers.

In her free time, Emily likes to stay active. You might find her roller blading in Shelby park, rock climbing with her husband, or singing and dancing in a local theatrical production.

 

Direct Service

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Kelsey mize

Director of Survivor Care

Kelsey manages End Slavery Tennessee staff who work directly with survivors and develops trauma informed care based on current industry standards.

Kelsey’s heart and desire to help those who are hurting led her to pursue a degree in Christian Ministry and Counseling from Johnson University, Florida. It is here that Kelsey learned more about the realities of human trafficking and was able to help raise awareness and fundraise for the cause. Upon moving to Nashville, Kelsey began working as a Case Manager for children and youth at a mental health organization. In this position, Kelsey gained valuable experience advocating for the children’s needs and learned the importance of building and strengthening social supports among the families and communities. Kelsey is excited to join End Slavery as the Survivor Care Manager because the position perfectly combines her experience as a case manager with her passion and desire to work with survivors of human trafficking.

In Kelsey’s free time she enjoys cuddling with her puppy, spending time outdoors and diving into a good book.  

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Marissa Brownell

Care Coordinator, CSEC Specialist (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children)

Marissa provides trauma-informed aftercare for survivors and specializes in creating programs for youth in DCS custody.

From a young age Marissa had a heart for helping people. Whether raising money for orphans to assisting the homeless, elderly or disabled, as a child she was always compassionate towards those facing adversity and injustice. This passion, combined with her own life experiences, led her to change careers from Event Planning to Human Services in 2009. After she began volunteering in 2007 with the children’s emergency shelter in Orange County CA, she fully realized her drive to work with youth who had been through trauma. She decided to move to Washington DC and began gaining experience with an NGO doing street outreach for victims of human trafficking and manning their 24 hour emergency line. She later moved back to CA and worked with at risk youth at the YWCA and then in a transitional housing program at the Orangewood Foundation. This is where she had the opportunity to work as a Support Specialist assisting countless young women who had been through extensive trauma, in addition to closely working with survivors of human trafficking.

Marissa graduated from California State University of Long Beach. She has been trained in trauma informed care and working with CSEC survivors and is certified as a domestic violence advocate. She initially dreamed of teaching High School English, but she has now found her calling teaching youth about resiliency, life skills and hope.

Marissa and her husband moved to TN in 2018 and have been enjoying the southern hospitality, the seasons, being in nature and raising their puppy, Journey.

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Kayla Davenport

CARE COORDINATOR, legal & law enforcement liaison

Kayla provides trauma-informed aftercare and works as an advocate for survivors in the court system.

Kayla received her Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology at the University of Tennessee at Martin. While doing her internship with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, she learned more about human trafficking going on in our very own state. After graduation, she spent two years working with underprivileged children at a Nashville non-profit. Here, her passion to help and empower others flourished. Kayla is grateful for the opportunity to be able to serve the women at End Slavery Tennessee and walk with them through healing and recovery. 

Kayla loves to spend her free time hiking with her husband, Ryan, and two fur babies, Kimber and Aspen. She also loves volunteering with the children's ministry at her church, reading, and kayaking throughout Tennessee. 

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Marybeth Jensen, msw

Care Coordinator, labor & foreign victims specialist

Marybeth provides trauma-informed aftercare and builds resources for immigrant and labor trafficking survivors.

Marybeth’s desire from a young age, to love those who felt unloved and help those in need, steered her towards a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work from Middle Tennessee State University. She has experience working in a group home for juvenile delinquents, at Rutherford County with sexually abused children and their families, and in a Venezuelan orphanage, teaching English and being a house mother. All the difference places and people she encountered, strengthened her desire to pour into people. Working at End Slavery TN is a dream come true; the opportunity to build positive relationships every day and work one-on-one with people is a true blessing. 

In her free time, Marybeth enjoys kayaking, traveling, and spending time with her family. She also loves fishing with her grandpa, reading books, and watching reruns of The Office.

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Chelsea Nixon, LMSW

Care Coordinator, education specialist

Chelsea provides trauma-informed aftercare for survivors and coordinates our internship program.

Chelsea received her undergraduate degree in social work from Eastern Michigan University, where she became passionate about advocating for women in under-served populations and gained knowledge on the issue of human trafficking. Here she worked at a community center training volunteers and working with individuals in crisis, growing her abilities in direct service and community outreach.

She obtained her graduate degree in social work with a specialization in nonprofit management from Loyola University Chicago. While helping to strengthen the network of childhood crisis response teams in Illinois, she began working with a team of childhood trauma specialists and studying the work of trauma researcher Bruce Perry. Seeing the effects of complex trauma and the incredible work being done in this field, Chelsea’s desire to become a trauma-informed care specialist was born.

Having now made a home in Nashville, Chelsea is excited to be part of the team at End Slavery Tennessee where she can combine her two passions to help empower others and cultivate a community focused on self-love and healing.

In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys acting as a doula for new and expecting moms, exploring Nashville, and sipping a good cup of coffee.

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Tia Overton

Transportation Specialist

Tia drives survivors to meetings, support groups, and appointments and helps survivors manage their time and schedules.

Tia has always had a passion for helping others and being an advocate for change. She grew up on the coast of WA where she graduated in 2013 from Grays Harbor College.

Rainy weather, poverty, drug/alcohol abuse, and suicide were what her small town was unfortunately known for. Her father is a detective and she quickly learned at a young age what families and different individuals had to go through in life that just didn’t seem fair. All of this led her to become an activist at just 15 years old, standing up for the vulnerable and building community and support for those around her. 

Tia learned about the continuing problem of sex trafficking while her sister was with a team in Thailand spending time in the red district. She is excited to be a part of the team here at End Slavery Tennessee and feels grateful to be a part of an organization that does so much to make others aware of the continuing problem while making a difference in the lives of others.

In her spare time, Tia enjoys spending time with her husband, working out, walking on trails, yoga, zumba, as well as volunteering as a mentor for young women who struggle with depression and self image.

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Lisa Tonkin

Resident Care coordinator

Lisa oversees and coordinates safe house logistics and provides evening crisis management and programming.

After growing up in a divorced home, often times struggling to have the basic necessities, Lisa decided at a young age she needed a plan to not repeat this cycle. Upon completing graduation, Lisa joined the military and began a nine year career with the United States Army. After leaving the military, she worked in the medical field for fifteen years with various specialties where she learned about compassion and caring for others. 

Lisa wanted to find a way to serve her community so she began volunteering with local outreach organizations. She served with The Journey Home providing meals for the homeless. There she learned she didn’t want to just serve a meal to someone, she wanted to get to know them. During this same time, she came across a documentary on PBS called “A Path Appears,” which addressed human trafficking in Nashville. She immediately became interested in this cause and sought out a local ministry that dealt with human trafficking. She volunteered with Last Call 4 Grace and was certified in Darkness to Light (CSEC) training. All of her volunteering experience, combined with her military and healthcare experience, has helped prepare her for her position with ESTN.

In her spare time, Lisa enjoys visiting her daughter in Memphis, working out, and being outdoors. She is also truly blessed to be surrounded by such a strong, loving community of friends that support her in every way.

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Rebecca Wilcox, MTS

Intervention Specialist

Rebecca researches and develops new community partners for enhanced survivor resources and is responsible for triaging all referral calls.

Rebecca was born in the South Bronx, New York where she found her call to advocacy and social justice. Growing up, her environment was surrounded by social ills that demanded minority voices to speak out against injustice. Through her advocacy she sought after a discipline that could examine the theories and practices of social experiences. This caused her to leave New York and take her academic pursuits to the south.

Rebecca studied Religion and Philosophy at Clark Atlanta University, a historically black university in Atlanta, Georgia. College gave her a more in depth passion for social ethics and human rights. This led her to further her education and pursue a Masters of Theological Studies with a concentration in Ethics at Vanderbilt University. Her academic research allowed her to develop a specific passion for Womanist Ethics where she examined the historical and current violence and exploitation against women and their bodies. This expanded Rebecca’s vocational development in political reform, and specified advocacy in domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

Wilcox has traveled to countries such as South Africa to gain a global perspective on how the world is engaging in various social movements for human freedom. In her spare time, she enjoys brunchin’ with her girlfriends, binge watching her favorite tv shows, reading, and sleeping. Rebecca believes that if we can go to the places of our imaginations, we can create a better reality for ourselves and others. Her favorite quote is from Shirley Chisholm which states “Service is the rent you pay for room on this earth.”